While the preparation time for these chicken lollipops may take a bit longer than just tossing the legs in the pan, the result is worth it. They are not only fun to eat, but because the meat is pushed to the top of the leg, it cooks more evenly and makes for a juicier piece of chicken. Traditionally, the chicken is pulled over the skin, but I find this preparation tastes as good and makes for a prettier presentation. This can also be done with drumettes, as well for a great appetizer or game-day snack.
What you’ll need:
• 2 pounds of chicken legs.
• 2 tsp. chili powder.
• 2 tsp. garlic powder.
• 2 tsp. onion powder.
• 1 tsp. red pepper flakes.
• 1 tsp. dried oregano.
• 1 tsp. cumin.
• 1 tsp. salt.
• 1 tsp. pepper.
• a pinch of cinnamon.
• a pinch ground cloves.
Mix your spice blend together and set aside. Depending on the number of legs you make, you may need to double your spices. For blends like this, I always make more and store it for other dishes.
With a sharp knife, cut around the leg near the joint to release the skin and any tendons. Push the meat to the top of the leg and set aside. Once done with all the legs, add a nice dusting of the spice blend. This can be done the night before for a more intense flavor.
In a pan on medium heat, cook the legs for 20 minutes on each side. Always check doneness by cutting into one of the pieces by the bone to make sure the juices are clear.
These are great served with any dipping sauce, but for this recipe, I mixed my favorite barbecue sauce with a bit of the spice mix and some hot sauce for an added kick. Enjoy.
Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.